The Australian Government is delivering on its election commitment to build a more prosperous agriculture sector through its development of the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.
The Government is considering the issues identified during the first consultation stage of the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper process.
Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, said the consultations included the Parkes Electorate as part of the 34 regional and metropolitan centres visited throughout Australia.
“I was very pleased that local farmers and other interested stakeholders were able to discuss the issues facing them at the white paper consultation in Dubbo back in February and identify their ideas for improving the competitiveness of our agriculture sector,” Mr Coulton said.
“It’s encouraging to see such significant interest in the issues paper consultation process and I thank those from our region who chose to take part.”
Some of the key themes arising from the Parkes consultation included:
- Pest animal and wild dog control;
- Responsible management of native vegetation versus farmers interests;
- Worker shortages;
- Responsible use of water resources.
“The key themes identified during this important part of the process are being considered as part of the development of the Green Paper, which is the next step on the way to the White Paper,” Mr Coulton said.
Local producer Rod Young’s submission outlined the need for a fairer playing field for Australian farmers and concern about ongoing attacks on farmers by animal activists:
“Australia can produce significant tonnages of quality product if given a fair go. There is a huge potential for further increases in production. However the continuing rise in cost of production and interference from various activist groups will continue to restrict our competitiveness along with the cheap imports.”
“This White Paper process is all about better understanding issues like this so we can create a more agile and competitive agriculture sector,” Mr Coulton said.
“The Green Paper will assess the critical issues and opportunities for improving the competitiveness of our agriculture sector and includes some possible policy directions for consideration.
“Australians will have a further opportunity to comment on the ideas distilled from the now completed first stage of consultations and presented in the Green Paper when it is released in the coming weeks.”
The White Paper aims to identify pathways and approaches for growing farm profitability and boosting agriculture’s contribution to economic growth, trade, innovation and productivity.
For more information about the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper or to view public submissions, please visit http://agriculturalcompetitiveness.dpmc.gov.au.